You know the drill: You work hard at your fitness goals all year, fall off the wagon in November, gain 20 pounds, and grudgingly head back to the gym in January. By May you’re feeling pretty great, only to enjoy your success for a few months before the next holiday season rolls around once again. It seems to be a never-ending cycle of yo-yo dieting. And it’s bad for your health!
As we head into this year’s busy (and carb-fueled) holiday season, follow these steps to maintain the weight loss you worked so hard to attain earlier this year.
Choose your battles. No one can deny themselves treats all of the time, and you might as well enjoy your holidays. But you can limit the damage, and there’s no need to gain 20 pounds this month. Choose one or two events that will be diet-free, and then stop worrying about it. Allowing a small splurge, once or twice this month, can keep you from completely regressing.
Focus on relationships and activities. You’re going to allow yourself a few treats, but how do you prevent over-indulging at every event? Turn your focus away from food, and onto people and activities. Head outside, away from the buffet table, to participate in that game of flag football (or just watch, if you’re not the sporty type). Play pool, throw darts, start up a trivia game… There are plenty of ways to connect with your loved ones that don’t involve food.
Fill up on veggies. You still have to eat, of course. You’re just trying to avoid over-indulgence in fatty, carb-rich party foods. Fill up your plate with fresh fruits and veggies straight away, and allow your stomach time to send fullness signals to your brain. Then, if you want to snag one or two pigs-in-a-blanket, go ahead. You’ll be too full to want much more than that.
Stay away from the cocktails. Many holiday-themed cocktails are packed with 500 or more calories each. Plus, after a few drinks, you’re more likely to indulge in fatty fried foods, chips, and other unhealthy snacks. Limit your alcohol intake to a single glass of wine or a light beer, if you really want a drink.
Stick to your exercise schedule. Continue to make your health goals a priority during the holidays. Schedule events around your exercise schedule, not the other way around. And if you can add just ten minutes onto your workout time, you can combat holiday weight gain even more efficiently.
If you find yourself struggling with your weight loss plan this December, schedule a check-in with us. We can help you get back on the right track toward your health goals.